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Messages - dmtaylor

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast count
« on: December 27, 2017, 01:42:02 PM »
I have two microscopes.  However I have not used them to count yeasts.  How much pitch rate really matters is a matter I am still testing but more recently becoming more skeptical of.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: So... what "IS" Ale?
« on: December 27, 2017, 01:03:33 PM »
The video itself is great and effectively summarizes a lot of debunked myths.

The comment on the video, repeated in the original post above, is of course garbage from a troll.  Do not feed the troll.

Beer Recipes / Re: suggested fruit to add to blonde ale recipe
« on: December 25, 2017, 01:14:40 PM »
Mmm... strawberry blonde.......

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WB-06 finishing sour in wheat beers
« on: December 22, 2017, 09:57:03 PM »
Does anyone think temperatures have do deal with the amount/level of tartness this strain gives off? I just finished a röggenbier and used this strain.  Much more clove phenol than banana is what I ended up with and I fermented in the lower end, around 62*. Personally I enjoyed the tartness with the rye, I have never brewed with a Hefeweizen strain until this beer.

Nope, I don't think it's a temperature thing.  I fermented some at 60 F and some at 70 F, and both came out tart.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Gordon Biersch Chum dry-hopped Irish Red Ale
« on: December 19, 2017, 07:18:20 PM »
Hard to comment without a recipe and without having tasted it.  There are millions of other things in this world more important than this to guess about.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swaen Malts...
« on: December 19, 2017, 03:42:05 PM »
I just bought some Swaen Munich (for the first time) to use in my dunkles.  I sure hope it tastes awesome.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Are rice hulls ever needed in BIAB?
« on: December 18, 2017, 09:10:13 PM »
For BIAB, I would say no, rice hulls are not needed.

For any other process, they are cheap insurance.  Are they necessary in these cases?  It depends.  At 10%, maybe not.  At 20% or more, possibly but not necessarily.

Clear as mud, ain't it!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WB-06 finishing sour in wheat beers
« on: December 16, 2017, 05:04:23 PM »
Time will tell.  Should know more in a few weeks.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WB-06 finishing sour in wheat beers
« on: December 16, 2017, 03:11:32 PM »
Two things.  Holy god there is still an NB forum!?!?

Did you take finishing pH’s?  Is tart lower pH or something else?

The NB forum is even more dead than the AHA forum.  But yeah, both still exist.

Tartness is in the taste.  I have not taken pH, but could do so later.  It was easily detectable tasting side-by-side against the other beer fermented with the identical wort under identical conditions but with Wyeast 3638 (which had no odd tartness at all).  FWIW, my taste buds are BJCP-Certified, and I sure as hell know tartness when I taste it.

EDIT: The tartness is similar to Lacto.  But I'm pretty sure it's not Lacto.  It's not THAT sour.  Not yet anyway.

Other Fermentables / Re: New to brewing cider and looking for advice
« on: December 16, 2017, 01:39:05 PM »
My cider, fermented at about 55 to 60 F, takes more like 10 or 12 days probably to reach 1.020 or so, not just 3 or 4 days.  I also don't use any yeast nutrients, which probably makes it move slower compared to if I did use nutrients.  So my fermentation is not going as fast as yours.

I rack to secondary when specific gravity is probably around 1.025-1.030.  Then the cider ferments all the more slowly down towards 1.020 or 1.015 or wherever I set my goal.  It takes several weeks to get there.  I add gelatin only if it is moving too fast.  Otherwise I often just refrigerate at about 35-40 F, where it will continue to ferment for about 3 months or so unless I really want to clear things up with gelatin, where it grinds almost to a halt.

Letting the cider sit in secondary or tertiary for a shorter time might result in more sludge in the bottoms of the bottles.  I prefer to keep more of that out of the finished cider.  And I'm lazy.  Eventually when I bottle, I usually add just a few grains of fresh dry yeast (Cote des Blancs) to ensure I will get some carbonation.  That, or just plan to enjoy it flat & uncarbonated.

If I really crammed all the timing into the shortest period possible, I could probably get a cider done in just 10 weeks from orchard to glass.  But I'm never in that much of a hurry.  I think I could do 10 weeks.  6 months isn't necessary for good cider.  But, it doesn't hurt.

Photobucket sucks.  I can't see your picture.  I got burned on Photobucket a few months ago, had dozens of photos linked everywhere that all died overnight.  Screw them.  I use Flickr now.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WB-06 finishing sour in wheat beers
« on: December 16, 2017, 01:15:40 PM »
I just did a yeast experiment with WB-06 vs. 3638.  Bottled just 3 days ago.  At bottling, upon tasting samples, the primary differences were that WB-06 had a distinct tartness, plus some odd red apple ester that I personally do not enjoy.  3638 definitely won this battle.  More details provided on the NB forum:

Other Fermentables / Re: New to brewing cider and looking for advice
« on: December 15, 2017, 03:46:48 AM »
I have not done anything to remove or stop the yeast, like gelatin or sodium metabisulfite, because I want some so I can have carbonation in the bottles...

What do you mean by rack after the first few days? First few days of primary or from a secondary to a tertiary once I hit 1.020?

With gelatin, you'll still get natural carbonation in the bottles.  It will just take a month or two.  And if you add a little fresh yeast at bottling, carbonation definitely will not be a problem.

Rack to secondary after the first few days, and consider racking again to a tertiary several days later if fermentation continues moving too fast.

Other Fermentables / Re: New to brewing cider and looking for advice
« on: December 14, 2017, 01:08:19 PM »
Six days later, 11/20, both batches were around SG 0.998, I forgot to write it down so I don't remember the exact SG, but it was under 1. Even though I had left some head space both batches bubbled out of the airlock.

This looks suspicious to me.  I've never seen a cider go that fast, and usually see very little foam on top.  However I also ferment mine cooler around 55-60 F, and I would recommend you do the same if you can -- draping the fermenter in a wet t-shirt can work wonders in this regard.  I think maybe you are fermenting too hot and it is hurting your cider, that or the nutrients are making the yeast work too fast.

You might be in too much of a hurry.  One month in the fermenter is pretty fast, and there is surely still yeast suspended in the cider.  You can add gelatin to remove most of the yeast, you will probably enjoy the taste of that better too.  Or just be more patient and let it sit for 2 or even 3 or 4 months before bottling.

Oxidation is not an issue for your cider at all.  Using marbles is a good idea, but for such a fast cider, the odds of it going to vinegar in just 4 or 5 weeks is fairly low.

Did you not treat the raw juice with sulfite or pasteurize it at all?  You might have wild yeast in there making it taste not to your liking.  Odds are this is NOT an issue for you, but it is possible.  I like to pasteurize mine at 160 F for 15 minutes, and I'm considering taking this down to 150 F for 20 minutes to reduce cooked flavors.  Then I know that only my chosen yeast is doing the work for me, and not anything wild.  Speaking of which...

My favorite yeast is Cote des Blancs.  It's the best for cider.  There, I've said it, as I've said dozens of times in other threads -- enough said!

Maybe try making cider without the nutrients and see if you like that better.  Lack of nutrients is not a bad thing at all in my experience, and will serve to slow the fermentation, quite possibly resulting in a better product.

Remember this rule of thumb: Low and slow is the way to go.  Keep temperatures cool, skip nutrients, and try to get the fermentation to go as slow as possible instead of as fast as possible.  That's my recipe for a great cider.  One last thing -- I like to rack mine after the first few days or when gravity reaches about 1.020, this removes most of the yeast and helps slow things down even more.  Sometimes I even add gelatin to help bring fermentation to more of a screeching halt if it's moving too fast.  Looks to me like yours moves way too fast for my liking.

Hope this helps.  Implementing just one or two of my suggestions, if not all of them, will hopefully bring some improvements to your cider in future.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:09:54 PM »
I increase amounts of everything to try to maintain the same percents.  It's the only thing that makes sense.  Because, science.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Correct entry category
« on: December 13, 2017, 01:13:20 AM »
30A Spice Herb Vegetable

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